A Common Factors Approach to Improving the Mental Health Capacity of Pediatric Primary Care

  • Larry WissowEmail author
  • Bruno Anthony
  • Jonathan Brown
  • Susan DosReis
  • Anne Gadomski
  • Golda Ginsburg
  • Mark Riddle
Original Paper


To expand the mental health service capacity of pediatric primary care, we ask whether there are evidence-based skills to allow providers to 1) immediately begin treatment for children with emotional and behavioral problems while diagnostic procedures are being pursued, and 2) offer evidence-based care to children who do not meet criteria for a specific diagnosis. We discuss why the epidemiology of child mental health problems poses difficulties for disorder-specific mental health interventions, and review evidence that “common factors” contributing to the outcome of mental health treatments define a core set of skills that primary care providers might use to complement disorder-specific interventions.


Primary care Pediatrics Mental health Psychotherapy process 



LW, JB, and AG collaborated (with others) on a trial of what turned out to be a common process approach to training pediatric primary care providers to address mental health problems (funded by NIMH grant RO1MH62469, as is the work on this paper). BA, SD, GG, MR, and LW have spent many hours discussing ways of delivering evidence-based mental health services in pediatric primary care. LW and AG have benefited enormously from being able to sit in on discussions of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Mental Health, led by Dr. Jane Foy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Wissow
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bruno Anthony
    • 3
  • Jonathan Brown
    • 4
  • Susan DosReis
    • 1
  • Anne Gadomski
    • 5
  • Golda Ginsburg
    • 1
  • Mark Riddle
    • 1
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Health, Behavior, and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Mathematica Policy ResearchWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.Bassett HealthcareCooperstownUSA

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